Tween/Teen Programs

All kids have great potential. At the Y, a leading nonprofit strengthening community through youth development, we work every day to help them set and achieve their personal and educational goals. As a result, millions of children and teens nationwide gain confidence as they recognize the Y as a place where they belong and can feel comfortable exploring new interests and passions. Through our leadership and academic enrichment programs such as mentoring, Youth and Government and college preparation, the Y makes sure that every child has an opportunity to envision and pursue a positive future, and to take an active role in strengthening his or her community.


NOTE: YMCA Youth Leadership Program offerings vary by location and time of year.

Summer Basketball League

Who’s ready for a little competition and fun? Make sure you spend next summer on the court at the Y!

Black Achievers

The Black Achievers program provides college readiness and career awareness to African American teens in Wilmington. African American mentors from diverse career fields are nominated by the local business community to serve as role models, preparing participants for future success. The Achievers meet weekly for one year at the Walnut Street YMCA. The year culminates with an Annual Awards Dinner to honor the Adult Achievers and recognize Teen Achievers who are eligible for scholarships.

Essence Legacy Performing Arts

YMCA Essence Legacy Performing Arts (E.L.) for youth has provided a safe outlet to area kids since 2016. It’s recently expanded from a Percussion & Drill team, to incorporate Majorette, Color Guard, Choir and Cheerleading. A program that started with just 16 participants of drummers and steppers, has grown to over 90 performers enrolled within the five groups. Our members compete across the Mid-Atlantic, support community organizations and events by performing and volunteering throughout the year.

Leaders in Training

Recognizing that high school students can get more out of a summer camp program, YMCA Leader in Training programs are centered on building skills for teens. Teens learn through daily leadership workshops and shadowing staff while working together on a variety of projects. Our staff and Leader in Training participants form a mentoring relationship- providing feedback and insight into their efforts on the different tasks they take on.

Teen Summer Fun Pass

The Teen Summer Fun Pass provides pass holders with access to a Y of Delaware location where they can work out in the state-of-the-art fitness center, join unlimited group exercise classes, cool off at the indoor or outdoor pool, or showcase their skills on the basketball court. Passes can be purchased for $45 June 1- 31, 2023 by a parent or guardian. Teen Summer Fun Pass holders can visit their YMCA branch from June 12th through September 4, 2023, from 3 p.m. to close on weekdays, and open to close on weekends. Passes may only be used at the branch where they were purchased and are not valid at branches outside of the YMCA of Delaware.

Walnut Teen Center (ages 13-17)

Our Walnut Teen Center is a free program which provides teens with a safe space before and after school. Students are exposed to various growth opportunities through our impactful workshops that share themes of S.T.E.A.M, Arts and Crafts, Culinary Arts, and Health and Wellness. In addition to daily activities, teen students have ample time to socialize with peers, complete academic responsibilities, engage is several forms of gaming, and relax with their favorite devices or watch their favorite movies. Involvement in Walnut’s Teen Center will prepare students for a successful transition into high school as well as upholding some of life’s most important values – Leadership, Positivity, Teamwork, and Enthusiasm.

Teen Workforce Development

The Walnut Street Teen Workforce Development program provides job readiness and life skills for teens ages 15 and up while addressing a dire need for positive opportunities available to adolescents within the City of Wilmington.

Cohorts of up to 20 teens are matched with a professional career mentor. Teens participate in workshops focusing on life skills and job readiness. Topics include resume writing, financial literacy, stress management, conflict resolution, etiquette, public speaking, presentations, career guidance, interviewing techniques, job searching and placement. Each participant will be placed within a partnering agency and/or welcomed in at least one of the following departments within the YMCA: Youth Sports, Aquatics and Lifeguarding, Childcare, Membership, Maintenance, and Community Outreach.

Youth in Government (grades 6-12)

Youth in Government offers model legislative and judicial experiences for youth in grades 6-12. Students have an opportunity to learn about the legislative process, debate parliamentary procedure, and work with peers to develop solutions to problems affecting Delawareans. Weekly meetings begin in January and continue leading up to the Training and Elections Conference in mid-March, and the culminating event, Model Legislative, and Judicial Conferences in early April. Both events will take place in Dover, DE at Legislative Hall and the Kent County Court House. Click here for more details.


Our Mission

To empower youth, foster healthy living, and promote strong communities.


Healthy Kids Day - Saturday, April 20th

Healthy Kids Day events are free, full of family fun, and open to non-members! Join us for games and activities to keep kids moving and learning. Learn More!